With the lockout likely to linger well into October and perhaps into November, trying to preview the season of 30 teams that might not actually have one seems about as worthwhile as raking leaves on a windy day. But I love raking and the wind only makes it last longer. We here at Razzball have you covered, even if you didn’t want to be covered. That’s love. You’ll appreciate it when you’re older. Look at it this way, the only way any of this stuff can be disproven is if the season starts. So go ahead, NBA, make me a fibber! I dare you. Until then, consider this fantasy basketball gospel. Don’t even bother reading anything else – dem’s all lies. From now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2011 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each team in order to paint a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting? Who might surprise you? And who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The Golden State Warriors (Can! You! Diggit!?!)
Gained – Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler, Charles Jenkins, Mark Jackson, the D-League’s Dakota Wizards
Lost – The innocence of not having Mark Jackson as the team’s head coach, Acie Law
Probable position depth –
PG – Stephen Curry, Jeremy Lin, Charles Jenkins, Charlie Bell
SG – Monta Ellis, Klay Thompson
SF – Dorell Wright, Reggie Williams, Al Thornton
PF – David Lee, Louis Amundson, Vladimir Radmanovic
C – Andris Biedrins, Ekpe Udoh, Jeremy Tyler
Surprising Team Fact From Last Season – The Warriors’ Margin of Victory was -2.33, meaning they lost each game by an average of 2.3 points. It should also be noted that Golden State was dead last in total FTA/FTM, while they were second only to Minnesota in opponents’ FTA/FTM. If only Ellis could have hurled himself into the lane 30 times a game instead of 25, they might have had a shot at the playoffs.
Number of Top 20 Fantasy Players (par 0-1) – 2, Curry, Ellis
Number of Top 50 Fantasy Players (par 1-2) – 3, Lee
Number of Top 75 Fantasy Players (par 2-3) – 4, Wright
Number of Top 100 Fantasy Players (par 3-4) – 0
Number of Top 200 Fantasy Players (par 6-7) – 6, Thompson, Biedrins
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season
1. Are we looking at Curry Favor or Goose Stephen this season?
I don’t know what that means. But I do know that the reports of Curry’s nagging foot and ankle issues were far worse than the actual injury. He only missed eight games. That’s not great, but before I looked it up, I would have guessed he missed twice that (he was a game-time decision about 15 times). When it’s all over, he averaged more points, better percentages and the same amount of assists in 2.6 fewer mpg in 2010 than he did as a rookie the season before. If you picked him in the first round, I think you picked him too early. If you picked him in the second round, I’d go ahead and keep on keepin’ on.
2. David Lee: discuss.
He averaged 17/10/3 at season’s end, but he had tooth chips in his elbow through the new year. His 19/12/4 April averages were closer to fantasy owners expectations on the Warriors’ high-octane offense heading into the 2010 season and I tend to think we’ll get somewhere in the middle of that from a healthy Lee in 2011. I’d guess 18/11/3 and look to grab him between picks 20 and 30.
3. Remember when An-Bie was a solid fantasy option at center, Gwen Stefani was on her second solo album and ‘The Wire’ was in its final season? Good times, huh?
Yeah, but those days are over. Don’t look at Biedrins until at least the 150th pick.
Rookie Review! – Klay Thompson, Golden State’s top pick, would be more exciting on just about any other team. He’s a shooter. Pure. Simple. Elegant. That’s it. His defense is fair, but not outstanding and he’s not particularly athletic. Of all the teams in need of an outside shooter, with underwhelming athleticism and anonymous defense, the Warriors ain’t it. That said, if Ellis is traded or there’s an injury in the backcourt, he’s worth an immediate look. Jeremy Tyler was taken with the 39th overall pick in the draft and is interesting like a Jackson Pollack painting – assuming you see Ekpe Udoh and a bunch of paint splotches when you look at a Pollack. Tyler is the player you get when Udoh has already been drafted. And Udoh should not be drafted. Charles Jenkins was drafted five players after Tyler and I’m pretty sure he owns the low ‘n’ slow barbecue joint near my house.
Fantasy Disappointment in ’11 – Dorell Wright. He went 17/6/3 and shot .430 from the field before the All-Star Break. After it, he cooled a bit to 16/4/2, shooting .409. But Wright was actually worse for most of the season than those averages suggest, if you disregard his bananas January
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’11 – Monta Ellis. Some people like diced onions on their hotdog, some people like sliced. Others like just ketchup and probably sleep with their cousins. What I’m trying to tell you is I prefer Ellis’ production, but if you prefer Stephen Curry a bit more on draft day, that’s cool. … And you probably sleep with your cousin.
Deep Sleeper – Klay Thompson. Don’t reach to draft him. Bob and weave until the right moment. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee and label this recommendation, Cautious: Klay.